DENVER, CO - The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) and Medici Communities, LLC have opened Evans Station Lofts, innovative affordable housing at the Evans Light Rail Station in South Denver. Located at 2140 South Delaware St., the Lofts are a new brick and flagstone 50-unit building that changes the face of traditional affordable housing in Denver with advanced building and financing techniques.
This development brings quality, affordable apartments to an underserved Denver market that features 10-foot ceilings, glass-tile accents, a community room with laptop computers and free wi-fi, exercise room, a rooftop barbeque area and a shared car for hourly rental.
"We wanted this project to not only provide a high quality living environment for the residents, but to be a positive catalyst for future development of the surrounding community," said Troy Gladwell, founder and principal, Medici Communities.
The apartments are one- and two-bedroom units with rents of $380 - $850 per month. Individuals and families who qualified for these apartments met limited, annual-income requirements. Residents started moving in the first week of August 2013 and to date all units have been leased. In addition, the building has 10,000 square feet of commercial space that incorporates the work of the Denver Shared Space Program with the first commercial tenant being Kim Robards Dance, a local nonprofit.
"This development shatters the stereotype of mixed use affordable housing and is a powerful example of how nonprofits, the public sector and for-profits can positively incorporate new transit-oriented development into an established neighborhood," said Aaron Miripol, President and CEO, ULC.
The development, which cost $12.35 million, is a five-story building that was designed to match the architectural history of the area. The cost efficiencies in construction were invested in higher quality selections of materials and amenities, such as the use of brick and flagstone accents, and raising the ceiling height in each apartment from the standard nine feet to 10 feet.
In June 2011, ULC purchased the land for $1.2 million using Denver's Transit Oriented-Development (TOD) Fund, a loan fund that was created to acquire and preserve land near transit stations for affordable housing and other community benefits. ULC sold the land in May 2012 to Medici for the Evans development, which was awarded $1 million in annual low-income housing tax credits from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). The housing credit program provides private market incentive to invest in affordable rental housing.
"Evans Station Lofts is a fine example of how the Denver TOD Fund provides flexible financing options so developers can build quality affordable housing along the city's expanding transit lines," said Melinda Pollack, vice president of transit-oriented development, Enterprise.